In the mid to end of the 1900s, African American style changed and developed with the times. Around the 1950s is really when the black community was able to create their own distinct styles. The term “Sunday attire” was coined, communities emphasized "Correct" dress, it was especially important when "stepping out" for social occasions with community members, a habit that continues in the early 2000s. Hair-dos and hairstyles also became a fashion statement, for example the "conk" which is hair that is slightly flattened and waved. Afros also emerged and they were often used to symbolize the rejection of white beauty standards at the time. Around the 1970s is when flashy costumes began to appear and black artists really started to define their presences through fashion. Around this time is also when movements started using fashion as one of their outlets.
The media plays a significant role when it comes to fashion. For instance, an important part of fashion is fashion journalism. Editorial critique, guidelines, and commentary can be found on television and in magazines, newspapers, fashion websites, social networks, and fashion blogs. In recent years, fashion blogging and YouTube videos have become a major outlet for spreading trends and fashion tips, creating an online culture of sharing one's style on a website or Instagram account. Through these media outlets readers and viewers all over the world can learn about fashion, making it very accessible.
Aiming to “amplify a greater message of unity, inclusion, diversity, and feminism in a fashion space”, Mara Hoffman invited the founders of the Women's March on Washington to open her show which featured modern silhouettes of utilitarian wear, described by critics as “Made for a modern warrior” and “Clothing for those who still have work to do”. Prabal Gurung debuted his collection of T-shirts featuring slogans such as “The Future is Female”, “We Will Not Be Silenced”, and “Nevertheless She Persisted”, with proceeds going to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Gurung's own charity, “Shikshya Foundation Nepal”. Similarly, The Business of Fashion launched the #TiedTogether movement on Social Media, encouraging member of the industry from editors to models, to wear a white bandana advocating for “unity, solidarity, and inclusiveness during fashion week”.
Why: Hailing from Sao Paulo, Helena Bordon is one of Brazil’s most influential style bloggers. She started her fashion education from a young age courtesy of her mother, Donata Meirelles, the style director of Vogue Brazil. When Helena was just 7 years old, she’d join her mum at all the top fashion shows and eventually interned at Valentino. Now, Helena is co-founder of Brazilian high street fashion chain 284, as well as finding the time to run her eponymous blog, helenabordon.com, which offers Helena’s insider style, travel and beauty tips. Disclaimer: expect holiday envy.
Celebrities like Rihanna, Lupita Nyong'o, Zendaya, and Michelle Obama have been a few of the many fashion idols in the black female community. For men, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, and Ice Cube have also helped define modern day fashion for black men. Today’s fashion scene is not just clothes, but also hair and makeup. Recent trends have included the embracing of natural hair, traditional clothing worn with modern clothing, or traditional patterns used in modern clothing styles. All of these trends come with the long existing and persevering movement of “Black is Beautiful”.
Benefits of primary research is specific information about a fashion brand's consumer is explored. Surveys are helpful tools; questions can be open-ended or closed-ended. A negative factor surveys and interviews present is that the answers can be biased, due to wording in the survey or on face-to-face interactions. Focus groups, about 8 to 12 people, can be beneficial because several points can be addressed in depth. However, there are drawbacks to this tactic, too. With such a small sample size, it is hard to know if the greater public would react the same way as the focus group. Observation can really help a company gain insight on what a consumer truly wants. There is less of a bias because consumers are just performing their daily tasks, not necessarily realizing they are being observed. For example, observing the public by taking street style photos of people, the consumer did not get dressed in the morning knowing that would have their photo taken necessarily. Through observation patterns can be seen, helping trend forecasters know what their target market needs and wants.
Why you should follow: Marissa Cox not only writes Rue Rodier, she's also one of Who What Wear's columnists, so you know we really rate her style. The fashionable Brit moved to Paris in 2013 but had to change up her style to match her chic new city. As a result, she's got some brilliant learnings to dish out when it comes to dressing French. Merci, indeed.